Hi, my name is Mary Anne. I live in Sacramento, CA and I have done caregiving for the past 15 years.
How did you get into caregiving?
I became a caregiver because of the situations I was faced while working as a CRO or customer relations officer with Qantas, the Australian airline in Los Angeles, and there were critical issues that I had to make split moment decisions. It was a life or death situation. And from then on, that never went out of my mind, and the moment we moved north here I managed to get into the caregiving field and have done so for the past 15 years, and have thoroughly enjoyed it.
What advice would you provide to a new caregiver?
My advice to a new caregiver would be, you need to have instilled in you very, very good qualities. You have to have a lot of love, a lot of respect, a lot of patience and a lot of understanding. Those are the most important things you have to have, coupled with a ton of honesty. You have to be honest.
Who is one of your most memorable clients?
A client I will never forget is one that's brought me to tears; She was English, she immigrated, her husband was Scottish. They actually migrated back in the 30s I think it was or 40s, to San Francisco. Her niece actually had to fly down from England to interview me for the job, and this woman never had a blood relative that was around. So I was her eyes, her ears. I used to go get her medication. There were times and situations where for instance, the price of medication had escalated, and this was just within a few weeks, and it was astronomical. I had to fight and argue for that point, and people don't realize what caregiving takes. She depended on me totally for her safety, for her food, dressing her up, showering her. I had to try and put her into a regimen so that things would work out right for her. I will never ever forget that case. And the reason as to why - the feelings of nostalgia comes in - is because I lost my mom while in high school, and I always look at my cases as if they were my parents. I really enjoyed her. In fact, I've enjoyed all the cases that I've done. And I've learned a lot from each and every single one of the cases. I don't only look at caregiving as what we can apply to the case, because you go away - at least I go away - ten times more experienced than I walked into each case. It's very touching. I really and truly loved this woman.